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Do You Know? Sun’s Magnetic Field Is 10 Times Stronger Than Actually Believed

However, they are still responsible for the confinement of the solar plasma, which make up solar flares, as far as 20,000 km above the sun's surface.

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Sun
Sun's corona extends millions of kilometres above the surface, measuring 1,400,000 kilometres across -- 109 times larger than Earth -- and 150,000,000 km from Earth. Pixabay

The sun’s magnetic field is 10 times stronger than previously believed, finds a study which can potentially change understanding of the processes that happen in the sun’s immediate atmosphere.

The study found that the sun’s corona extends millions of kilometres above the surface, measuring 1,400,000 kilometres across — 109 times larger than Earth — and 150,000,000 km from Earth.

“Everything that happens in the sun’s outer atmosphere is dominated by the magnetic field, but we have very few measurements of its strength and spatial characteristics,” David Kuridze, research student at the Aberystwyth University.

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These solar flares can lead to storms which, if they hit Earth, form the northern lights – the Aurora Borealis. Pixabay

Using the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Kuridze studied a particularly strong solar flare which erupted near the surface of the sun on 10 September 2017.

Solar flares appear as bright flashes and occur when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released.

“This is the first time we have been able to measure accurately the magnetic field of the coronal loops, the building blocks of the sun’s magnetic corona, which such a level of accuracy,” Kuridze said.

Earth
Earth and caries information about the magnetic field, and limitations in the instrumentation available. Pixabay

Until now, successful measurement of the magnetic field has been hindered by the weakness of the signal from the sun’s atmosphere that reaches Earth and caries information about the magnetic field, and limitations in the instrumentation available.

The magnetic fields reported in the study are similar to those of a typical fridge magnet and around 100 times weaker than the magnetic field encountered in an MRI scanner.

However, they are still responsible for the confinement of the solar plasma, which make up solar flares, as far as 20,000 km above the sun’s surface.

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These solar flares can lead to storms which, if they hit Earth, form the northern lights – the Aurora Borealis.

They can also disrupt communications satellites and GPS systems, the researchers noted.
(IANS)

 

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New Study Indicates, Life on Earth May Have Begun in Ponds But Not Oceans

"Our overall message is, if you think the origin of life required fixed nitrogen, as many people do, then it's tough to have the origin of life happen in the ocean," s

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Earth
Nitrogenous oxides were likely deposited in water bodies, including oceans and ponds, as remnants of the breakdown of nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere. Pixabay

Challenging a common perception, a new study suggests primitive ponds may have provided a suitable environment for creating Earth’s first life forms, more so than oceans.

The findings published in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems showed shallow water bodies could have held high concentrations of what many scientists believe to be a key ingredient for jump-starting life on Earth: nitrogen.

ocean
Scientists believe there could have been enough lightning crackling through the early atmosphere to produce an abundance of nitrogenous oxides to fuel the origin of life in the ocean. Pixabay

“Our overall message is, if you think the origin of life required fixed nitrogen, as many people do, then it’s tough to have the origin of life happen in the ocean,” said lead author Sukrit Ranjan from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It’s much easier to have that happen in a pond,” Ranjan said.

Nitrogenous oxides were likely deposited in water bodies, including oceans and ponds, as remnants of the breakdown of nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere.

Atmospheric nitrogen comprises two nitrogen molecules, linked via a strong triple bond, that can only be broken by an extremely energetic event — namely, lightning.

Scientists believe there could have been enough lightning crackling through the early atmosphere to produce an abundance of nitrogenous oxides to fuel the origin of life in the ocean.

ocean
In the ocean, ultraviolet light and dissolved iron would have made nitrogenous oxides far less available for synthesising living organisms. Pixabay

But the new study found that ultraviolet light from the Sun and dissolved iron sloughed off from primitive oceanic rocks could have destroyed a significant portion of nitrogenous oxides in the ocean, sending the compounds back into the atmosphere as nitrogen.

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In the ocean, ultraviolet light and dissolved iron would have made nitrogenous oxides far less available for synthesising living organisms.

In shallow ponds, however, life would have had a better chance to grow, mainly because ponds have much less volume over which compounds can be diluted. As a result, nitrogenous oxides would have built up to much higher concentrations, the study said. (IANS)